Over the years I have worn many hats. Sometimes too many. I have been mom, wife, mentor, coach, advisor, fundraiser, business owner, blogger, team mom, room mom, coordinator, board chair, and often most of these happened all at once. I found myself over committed, and over tired. I was stressed and so was my home, and a stress filled home is not a happy one. I needed to stop, slow down, and return to what I was. What I always wanted to be. What God had made me to be. Wife and Mom. I needed to return to a simpler time. I needed to distress my self and my home–so I did.
As much as we may think it isn’t possible, our lives CAN be stress-free, but it is up to us. We have to be willing to let go. We have to focus on what is important, and be willing to say No. We can be stress-free. A stress-free home is a happy home. And a happy home is better for all of us.
1. Do not give in to the pressures of today’s technology. In a day and age where you can call someone, then text them, then message them on Facebook, and follow up with an email, the pressure to answer everyone immediately is IMMENSE. You want to stop everything and return that email or text them back, after all it will just take a moment, right? Wrong. It will distract you. It will prolong whatever it was that you had to stop doing. It will take away time from your family. We should not be expected to drop everything at someone else’s whim, so stop doing it. The text, message, and email can all wait.
2. Get Rid of the Clutter. You know that saying in the school/workplace “a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind”? Well what type of effects do you think a cluttered home might have? I, for one, can get very agitated very quickly when every where I turn there I another pile of stuff. Or, when every time I look for something I have to search and search. We recently cleared it all out. We went through and donated a truck load and now, my home and my life are no longer cluttered, leaving room or more important things. This is an ongoing process, but if you make the effort to let go of the material things, the anxiety will decrease.
3. Don’t Over Commit Yourself. I am famous for this one, but about a year ago I decided NO MORE. It started with declining to coach youth sports and now I work daily at just saying NO. It can be something as simple as telling friend “No, I can’t make it to the park today” when I have something I need to finish up at home. Or accepting help from another parent as room mom. Even declining to attend a birthday party or fun event when it would just be too much to add one more thing into our weekend. The more often I say No, the easier it is, and as a result the anxiety of looming deadlines or arriving late are gone. We can do it all, we just can’t do it all at once.
4. Pick Your Battles. Does it really matter if your 3 year old wants to wear pink knee high Halloween socks with her blue and white sundress? No, it sure doesn’t. Why exert negative energy on something that really isn’t going to alter the state of your day other than result in battle of stubbornness? Let it go, laugh it off and move on to more important issues.
5. Slow Down and Delight in the Little Things. As we rush around from obligation to obligation we are stressed, hurried, and anxious. Slow down. That email does not need to be answered right this minute. They can wait, your family cannot. Our sole obligation is and should be to our family first. Take a moment to experience something new with your toddler. Stop to talk to your daughter while you’re brushing her hair. When we see the love and light in our family and the world around us, we are happier. This world can pass us by while we worry about what we have to cross off of our to do list next, or we can slow down and experience it, Happy and Stress Free.